With obesity being a common issue these days we can’t help but wonder, is it really a calorie issue?
Did you know that 50 years ago we didn’t have obesity statistics? Now it’s estimated that 1 in 3 adults are obese (US statistics). Let that sink in for a second. Crazy right?
If you stopped to think about how many of your friends, family members, or colleagues are battling with their weight right now at this very moment, you'd be amazed. Is it really that they are eating so much more than the slimmer person next to them? Or could it perhaps be gut related?
I know plenty of people who are trying to lose weight through the promise of diet trends or magical shakes, which is a great initiative but if it’s not addressing an underlying issue, will the results be long lasting?
Here are 5 reasons to include gut health as a part of your weight loss strategy.
There are 3 phases to how we eliminate toxic substances from our bodies. The microbiome plays a major role in the third phase. If there isn’t a healthy balance of microbes in the gut, things like toxins and hormones don’t leave and they go back into circulation. This is not ideal. These substances accumulate in the body creating toxicity, inflammation and mess with our metabolism, which contributes to fat storage.
Breaking down nutrients
Without the proper balance of bacteria in the gut, not only are we not making proper use of the nutrition we consume, we are not manufacturing the vitamins we normally would with a healthy gut . This can create a nutrient gap which deprives our metabolic processes of the necessary nutrients to function efficiently.
More than likely you know or have heard of someone who has developed an intolerance to grains. This is because of something called leaky gut. This is caused by many things, but essentially it is when the mucosa in the gut has been damaged from inflammation caused from an overgrowth of pathogens. This inflammation causes the body to release cortisol, an anti-inflammatory hormone released by the adrenals. If left unaddressed, and it often is, the adrenals can become weak causing an imbalance in hormones including insulin. This is when we begin to store excess fat, especially around our midsections.
Yeasts are no joke
An overgrowth of a yeasts known as candida albicans produces estrogen-like substances and can contribute to a common condition called estrogen dominance, a factor in excess fat stored around the hips and thighs. Candida produces metabolites that have an affect on our metabolic and endocrine function. These functions are essential in controlling our weight. Candida also causes sugar cravings which can make it difficult for us to avoid sugary foods that make us pack on excess pounds.
An unhealthy gut compromises liver function
The liver has many functions in the body but if it’s overloaded from dealing with chronic inflammation, it’s other functions become sluggish. This includes it’s hormone functions. The liver is necessary for regulating hormones and controlling blood sugar balance so when it is overburdened and isn’t responding properly to pancreatic insulin, blood sugar instability results. Once again, fat storage.
There are many things that negatively impact the health of our microbiome. Stress, overeating, consuming refined foods and sugars, environmental factors and certain medications all contribute.
Fortunately there are ways to support the gut in order to keep it healthy and functioning properly.
Eat fermented foods (kombucha, miso, apple cider vinegar, kefir, aged cheese, sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt)
Take a probiotic supplement
Add some collagen to your smoothies or coffee
Eat FOS(Fructo-oligosaccharides) and GOS(Galacto-Oligosaccharides) containing foods (legumes, garlic, onions, bananas, rye, asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes)
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
Chew your food very well
Eat smaller portions
Avoid processed and refined foods
Eat organic foods as much as possible to avoid pesticides and chemicals
Bottom line, if you're looking to create lasting weight-loss results then it's a good idea to make gut-health a part of your overall strategy.